Jiro stirred amongst a pile of splintered wood. His armor had saved him from any serious injuries, though Hitomi lay face-down beside him with a gash along his back. "Hitomi?" Jiro asked, and the small Sentret gave a weak groan of acknowledgement with a slight swish of its tail. "Hang in there, I've got some medicine for you," he said, fishing in his pouch for the standard-grade concoction that all village guards were required to carry. It wouldn't cure the entire wound immediately, but it could stabilize all but the most grievous of injuries.
Hitomi cried briefly at the added sting when Kimura dripped some of the potion onto the cut, but then the blood coagulated quickly after, and scar tissue reduced the size of the Sentret's energy. Soon after, Hitomi was able to push himself up and realize, along with Kimura, exactly what was going on around them.
A group of fearless travelers and the like had taken to combatting a massive 10-foot-tall Persian (roughly double that in length) that flailed* and lashed out*, clearly confused as it damaged itself nearly as much as the people and Pokémon around it. Hail was spreading from the gate as a blur of white--Kimura thought he recognized it as the Vulpix from earlier, but it was too obscured in the frosty deluge to be sure--unleashed a cone of snow and ice toward the monster, combined with a flurry of attacks from many others. Archers had mounted the towers along the perimeter and awaited a silent signal to fire from their commanding officer, but they would not fire while they risked harming civilians.
Closer to the gate Kimura recognized Captain Mizuno and Kanegi, gathering their wits from an attack they had suffered. Kimura scooped Hitomi in his arms and sprinted to the captain, trying to ignore the fear piercing his gut. He raised one arm in a feeble attempt to ward off hail that musically--but not painlessly--pelted off his armor. "Captain, are you okay?" Kimura shouted over the cacophony as Hitomi climbed to his shoulder.
Captain Mizuno looked over after a shake of his head. "Kimura? You've been trying to prove yourself, now's the time."
"Yes, sir! Just give the order, sir!" Kimura barked in response, steadying his hand as he grasped and drew his blade.
"Aim for its sides, stay away from its claws and tail, and especially
," the captain ordered, "stay away from its mouth! It won't hesitate to eat you if you give it the chance. Kanegi and I will go left, you and Hitomi go right. It's confused and can't keep pace with all the attacks. If we do this right it'll drop sooner than later. Now, go!"
Captain Mizuno and Kanegi sprinted off at the last command, and Kimura followed suit only a moment after. The two charged toward the Persian's farther flank as Kimura raised his sword to strike. In the same moment, Hitomi leaped into the air and its tail glowed white before becoming the texture of polished steel. Kimura focused as he charged ensuring he wouldn't miss as he lunged toward the Persian's belly.
In the moment before his attack met its mark, the Persian had noticed the small flying Hitomi and opened its maw in its direction, the tiny creature perfectly bite-sized for such a large beast, but Hitomi cleverly changed the angle of its attack, and the iron tail struck the Persian upon the nose at the same time Kimura sliced its underside. The creature howled, knowing it was too weak to continue fighting for long, but unable to clearly tell its up from its down, accompanied by a perpetual urge to hold its ground despite its instincts to flee when so thoroughly overwhelmed.